Redmond goalkeeper Sarah Thomas dives for the ball while some Mustangs attack and others enjoy watching the action during a recent practice. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

Redmond goalkeeper Sarah Thomas dives for the ball while some Mustangs attack and others enjoy watching the action during a recent practice. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

‘Be Brave’

Redmond Mustangs are ready to take on the competition.

Redmond’s mantra is “Be Brave,” and that means the Mustang girls soccer squad will play tough, take risks and try to kick its way back into a successful spot like last season.

In 2018, the Mustangs finished 9-4-4 while notching a 4A state berth after snagging second-place finishes in the KingCo and Wes-King district tournaments.

“I think last year we surprised some people, so I don’t think we’ll have the element of surprise this year. We know we have to dig deeper,” said head coach Stacy Masters after a recent practice.

Senior Izzy Bach-Lefler is one of Redmond’s three captains — along with senior Reece Wharton and junior Sarah Thomas — and said she’s learned how to be a positive leader while guiding the tough Mustangs, who tied Woodinville, 1-1, in their first match of the season on Sept. 10.

“We are not gonna shy away from anybody. I think we proved last year that we like to be the underdog. I think this team, this program especially, thrives off of being the underdog,” said Bach-Lefler, a third-year varsity player who will take on center midfielder/center back roles. “I think this year we’ve definitely garnered some respect for our program and I think that we definitely intend to return to our spot (from) last year.”

Along with Bach-Lefler, Wharton (defender) and Thomas (goalkeeper), top returners are senior Aly Doar (goalkeeper), senior Sydney Trzupek (defender), senior Sofiya Mitchell (forward/midfielder), sophomore Willow Thom (defender) and sophomore Aspen Sullivan (forward). Solid newcomers are junior Kait Raffensperger (midfielder/defender) and freshmen Sofia Andujar (defender), Cameron Cunningham (forward) and Halle Howe (defender).

Raffensperger honed her skills for the Crossfire Academy the last two years and is thrilled to join the Mustang squad for the first time this season.

“I think it’s really fun to play for your school, just to represent more than just your team,” she said, adding that the girls support and encourage each other to the fullest.

“Hard work is a huge thing, I think, and also just never giving up, especially even when you’re down a goal,” Raffensperger continued. “I think you need to prove to the other team — even if you’re not gonna end up with the result — that you’re good and they don’t wanna play you again.”

The Mustang chuckles at that comment, and smiles when noting that she’d like to score some goals this season.

Doar said the team displayed solid chemistry from day one this season and she’s impressed with the talented and hard-working squad.

Putting the team first will be one of the Mustangs’ goals.

“I’ve always realized how much sacrifice it takes to play on a team like this, especially with how much heart and passion we have in this program,” Doar said.

Redmond players will put their mantra of “Be Brave” into play this season. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

Redmond players will put their mantra of “Be Brave” into play this season. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

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